Sir Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya
Sir Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya was popularly known as Sir MV, He was a notable Indian engineer, scholar, Statesman and also served as the Diwan of Mysore for six years. He was a recipient of The Bharat Ratna, in the year 1955. He was knighted as a Knight Commander of the Indian Empire by King George V for his contributions to the public good. Every year, 15th September is celebrated as Engineer’s Day in India in his memory. He is held in high regard as a pre-eminent engineer of India. He was the chief designer of the flood protection system for the city of Hyderabad in Telangana, as well as the chief engineer responsible for the construction of the Krishna Raja Sagara dam in Mandya.
Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya was born on September 15th 1860, in Muddenahalli village, 40 miles from Bangalore, Mysore, Karnataka. Mokshagundam is a village in Prakasam District’s Cumbum Tahasil of Andhra Pradesh where the ancestors of Visvesvarayya emigrated from.Visvesvaraya lost his father at the age of 15. He joined for Kannada medium primary school in Chikballapur and attended high school in Bangalore. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from Central College, Bangalore in 1881 and later he studied civil engineering at the prestigious College of Engineering, Pune. After graduating as an engineer, Visvesvaraya took up a job with the PWD of Mumbai and was later invited to join the Indian Irrigation Commission. He implemented an extremely intricate system of irrigation in the Deccan area. He also designed and patented a system of automatic water floodgates that were first installed in 1903 at the Khadakvasla Reservoir near Pune. These gates were employed to raise the flood supply level of storage in the reservoir to the highest level likely to be attained by a flood without causing any damage to the dam. Based on the success of these gates, the same system was installed at the Tigra Dam in Gwalior and the Krishna Raja Sagara Dam in Mandya,Karnataka. In 1906–07, the Government of India sent him to Aden to study water supply and drainage system and the project prepared by him was implemented in Aden successfully. He achieved celebrity status when he designed a flood protection system for the city of Hyderabad. He was instrumental in developing a system to protect Visakhapatnam port from sea erosion.
Visvesvaraya supervised the construction of the KRS Dam across the Kaveri River from concept to inauguration. This dam created the biggest reservoir in Asia when it was built.He was rightly called the Father of modern Mysore state.During his tenure of service with the Government of Mysore state, he was responsible for the founding of The Mysore Soap Factory, the Parasitoide Laboratory, the Mysore Iron & Steel Works,now known as Visvesvaraya Iron and Steel Limited in Bhadravathi, the Sri Jayachamarajendra Polytechnic Institute, the Bangalore Agricultural University, the State Bank of Mysore, The Century Club, Mysore Chambers of Commerce and numerous other industrial ventures. He always encouraged private investment in industry during his tenure as Diwan of Mysore. He was instrumental in charting out the plan for road construction between Tirumala and Tirupati. He was a clean man and known for his sincerity, time management and dedication to a cause.
Career In Brief :
- Joined service as Assistant Engineer in Bombay in1884 and served in Nasik, Khandesh and Poona.
- Services lent to Municipality of Sukkur in Sind, 1894.Designed and carried out the water works of that Municipality in 1895.
- Worked as Executive Engineer, Surat, 1896.
- Served as assistant Superintending Engineer, Poona, 1897–99 and visited China and Japan in 1898.
- Served as Executive Engineer for Irrigation, Poona, 1899.
- Sanitary Engineer, Bombay, and Member, Sanitary Board, 1901. Gave evidence before the Indian Irrigation Commission, 1901.
- Designed and constructed Automatic Gates patented by him at Lake Fife Storage Reservoir,and introduced a new system of irrigation known as the “Block System”.
- Represented the Bombay Government at the Simla Irrigation Commission, 1903.
- Superintending Engineer, 1907; visited Egypt, Canada. United States of America and Russia, 1908.
- Worked as Special Consulting Engineer, Hyderabad to supervise and carry out Engineering works in connection with the Musi floods, 1909.
- Retired from British service in 1909.
- Chief Engineer and Secretary to the Government of Mysore,1909.
- Dewan of Mysore, P. W. and Railway Department,1913.
Diwan of Mysore :
After opting for voluntary retirement in 1908, he took a foreign tour to study industrialised nations and after that for a short period he worked for the Nizam of Hyderabad, India. He suggested flood relief measures for Hyderabad town, which was under constant threat of floods of Musi river. Later, during November 1909, Visvesvaraya was appointed as Chief Engineer of Mysore State. Further, during the year, 1912, he was appointed as Diwan of the princely state of Mysore. He served as Diwan for 7 years. With the support of Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV, Maharaja of Mysore, Visvesvaraya made good contribution as Diwan to the all-round development of Mysore state. Many industries and public works owe their inception or active nurturing to him, He was a motivational public figure. He was instrumental in establishing The Government Engineering College at Bangalore in the year 1917, credited as one of the first engineering institutes in India. This institution was later named the University Visvesvaraya College of Engineering after its founder. He also commissioned several new railway lines in Mysore state. Visvesvaraya Technological University,Belgaum, has been named in his honour, The University to which most engineering colleges in Karnataka are affiliated to,as well as prominent colleges like University Visvesvaraya College of Engineering, Bangalore, Sir M. Visvesvaraya Institute of Technology, Bangalore and Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology, Nagpur. College of Engineering, Pune, his alma mater, has erected a statue in his honor.The Visvesvaraya Industrial and Technological Museum, a museum in Bangalore is named in his honor.
Awards and honours :
- The Bharat Ratna
- The Knight Commander of The Indian Empire medal
- Visvesvaraya was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Indian Empire (CIE) in 1911.In 1915, while he was the Diwan of Mysore. Visvesvaraya was knighted as a Knight Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire by the British for his myriad contributions for public welfare.
- He was awarded with the nation’s highest honour, The Bharat Ratna, in the year 1955.
- Visweswaraya was feted with honorary membership of the international Institution of Civil Engineers,London
- Fellowship of the Indian Institute of Science IISc,based in Bangalore.
- He was awarded several honorary doctoral degrees like D.Sc., LL.D., D.Litt. from eight universities in India.
- He was president of the 1923 Session of the Indian Science Congress.
- Sir M.V. was awarded honorary Membership of London Institution of Civil Engineers for an unbroken 50 years.
- Visvesvaraya, M (1920), Reconstructing India.
- Visvesvaraya, M (1936), Planned economy for India, Bangalore.
- Visvesvaraya, M (1951), Memories of my working life, Bangalore.
- Visvesvaraya, M (1932), Unemployment in India; its causes and cure, Bangalore
- Visvesvaraya, M (1917), Speeches, Bangalore.
- A Brief Memoir of my complete working life, Government Press, Bangalore, 1959
Courtesy : http://en.wikipedia.org/